The following was submitted by MJH Communications: Teamsters Local 25 president Sean O'Brien announced the recipients of money raised at the 2012 Autism Gala that will support two local charities. The Malden Challengers Little League, and Flips & Giggles Gymnastics, received $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
"This event gets better and better each year," said O'Brien, referring to the organization's annual Light up the Night Gala for Autism. "We have a lot of fun but at the end of the night it's all about raising money for autism. We're thrilled to be able to donate $240,000 to local autism charities, including the Malden Challengers Little League and Flips & Giggles Gymnastiscs."
Attending the reception were members of the honorary and planning committees, including Mark Roithmayr, president Autism Speaks, Larry Cancro, Senior Vice President / Fenway Affairs of the Boston Red Sox, boxing legend "Irish" Micky Ward and Lisa Strout, director of the Mass. Film Office.
The Challenger Division is a separate division of Little League Baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities, ages 5-18 or the completion of high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide.
Malden West Little League is part of District 12 along with Somerville, Medford, Melrose and Everett children who live in these areas are welcome to play.
Flips and Giggles Gymnastics, located at 376 Washington Street, offers unique adaptive classes for students with disabilities and special needs.
Other recipients included Autism Speaks New England, the Braintree Challengers Little League and the Jason Roberts Challenger Little League, Technology for Autism Now, the Special Townies Organization and Leslie's Dash for the Half.
In the last five years since adopting autism awareness as their signature charity, Teamsters Local 25 has raised more than half a million dollars that has been donated back into the local community through such organizations as Autism Speaks New England, Melmark New England (residential and day school located in Andover), area Little League Challengers programs and countless other organizations and families on the autism spectrum.
In 2010, Teamsters Local 25 members converged on the State House several times to bring attention and ultimately help to pass the autism insurance bill. The bill became law in 2011 and requires private health plans to treat Autism as a medical condition, and to provide coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
To learn more about Teamsters Local 25's commitment to autism, please visit